Commercial Cards Lean Into Data Integration Opportunity

PYMNTS.com | October 24, 2019

Commercial cards remain a small, but growing, part of the B2B payments ecosystem, thanks in part to their versatility. The latest in commercial card innovation reflects that, with new solutions ranging from cards designed for small businesses with high travel spending to products designed with more flexible credit limits for cash-strapped startups. But a commonality in the latest offerings from Visa, American Express and Brex is the industry’s embrace of data, and data integration.

Spotlight

Air fare pricing by airlines has come a long way and there are today a lot of factors that affect the price you pay for your flight tickets. It wouldn’t be surprising at all if the person sitting next to you on the flight has paid a much cheaper price than what you shelled out. What are these factors that affect air fare prices and are there any tips and tricks that travellers can use to book cheap flights? Let’s look at some of the ways to avoid burning a hole in your pocket when booking your air travel.

Spotlight

Air fare pricing by airlines has come a long way and there are today a lot of factors that affect the price you pay for your flight tickets. It wouldn’t be surprising at all if the person sitting next to you on the flight has paid a much cheaper price than what you shelled out. What are these factors that affect air fare prices and are there any tips and tricks that travellers can use to book cheap flights? Let’s look at some of the ways to avoid burning a hole in your pocket when booking your air travel.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

B2B TRAVEL COMPANIES LAGGING ON SUSTAINABILITY

Northstar Travel Media LLC | August 12, 2021

Sustainability has become one of the hottest topics in the travel industry in the past few years – and particularly since the start of the pandemic, as the halt of travel put a spotlight on what “could be” and created an opportunity to spur transformational change from this moment forward. Consumers are indicating a heightened interest in sustainability in all forms – environmental, economic and social. Booking.com’s Sustainable Travel Report 2021, based on surveys of 30,000 people in 30 countries, finds 46% say the pandemic has made them want to travel more sustainably in the future. And many consumer-focused travel companies clearly recognize this interest and the opportunity they have to differentiate their brands by taking action on sustainability. In recent weeks brands such as CWT, Accor, Singapore Airlines, Intrepid Travel and TourRadar have announced new initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, support nature conservation, benefit local communities and more. Last week Brazil’s Azul airlines announced a $1 billion partnership with Lilium to begin operating electric air taxis. But what about sustainability action at B2B companies – those that do not deal directly with travelers but provide the systems and services that keep the industry running? A new report from consulting firm Belvera Partners finds: “Sustainability overall has had a poor take-up in the B2B travel space.” For its report, Belvera assessed websites of 350 B2B travel companies from around the world looking for sustainability policies, reports, examples or any other meaningful mention and also whether the information was easy to find. The findings indicate a lack of prioritization of sustainability topics among B2B travel companies analyzed – or at the least, a lack of public communication about their positions on this topic. The report finds only 43% of the companies analyzed mention sustainability – or similar terms such as environment or CSR – on their websites. Many fewer (24%) have sustainability policies on their sites and still fewer (17%) have any sort of “sustainability report.” “If a company can’t demonstrate its sustainability credentials, then stakeholders will quite reasonably assume the worst. Our data shows then that the worst is what people must be assuming for the 83% of organizations in our sector that still don’t produce something that can be vaguely called a sustainability ‘report,’” says Roman Townsend, Belvera Partners’ managing director. “While the moral obligation is hopefully clear, the failure to act is also hurting these businesses economically: banks are less likely to lend, B2B partners are screening out such suppliers and employees are beginning to vote with their feet too.” Looking at 12 sub-sectors within the B2B the travel ecosystem, aviation has the highest percentage of companies with a sustainability report (42%) or at least a mention of sustainability on the company website (89%) – although it scored below average on ease of finding sustainability information.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Whistle Messaging Named Best Guest Messaging Software in the 2022 HotelTechAwards

Whistle Messaging | January 18, 2022

We're excited to share that Whistle Messaging, Inc. has been named #1 Guest Messaging Software for 2022 by Hotel Tech Report for the fifth consecutive year.Each month, more than 169,000 hotel industry professionals use HotelTechReport.com to make informed technology purchasing decisions. The HotelTechAwards determine the best hotel software products across every Guest Messaging Software based on customer feedback and key proprietary data signals such as integration compatibility, organizational health, market share, partner network strength, and customer support quality. "The ranking process is simple, transparent, and unbiased--judging is based on time-tested ranking factors developed specifically for the industry. Only verified hoteliers with hands-on experience using each product are allowed to participate in the voting process. This means that Whistle Messaging Inc's users decided the #1 Guest Messaging Software," -said Hotel Tech Report CEO, Jordan Hollander. Co-founder and CEO of Whistle Messaging, Christopher Hovanessian, says, "This continued recognition from HotelTechReport and the HotelTechAwards validates the work we're doing at Whistle, which is to give hoteliers a unique, easy-to-use platform that simplifies and streamlines the way they communicate with guests. Our clients often report to us that Whistle is the reason they've increased revenue, have happier guests, and can operate at an unprecedented pace." The authentic voice of the customer decides the winners of the annual HotelTechAwards - ranking hotel software solutions based on users' experience in buying, implementing, and using those solutions, said Jordan Hollander, CEO of Hotel Tech Report. We're thrilled to highlight the value that the world's leading software solutions deliver to their customers. By building a platform around the voice of the people actually using these hotel tech solutions, we're able to deliver actionable, peer-to-peer insights that potential buyers can trust. Winning a HotelTechAward is the highest achievement in the industry because it's based on data. The HotelTechAwards are often referred to as "the Grammys of Hotel Tech" and winners have been selected from more than 200 of the top technology products around the world. The HotelTechAwards are the industry's only data-driven awards platform with winners determined not by a handful of judges or popularity votes but by product reviews from a global community of verified hotel technology users across more than 120 countries. Whistle continues to expand its platform and services, launching a Digital Guest Book and Digital Registration in 2021, and coming soon is Whistle's Upsell Playbook, a new educational tool designed to empower hotels to make guest messaging a top revenue stream for hotels. Get a free demo of Whistle here. ABOUT HOTEL TECH REPORT HotelTechReport.com helps 170k hoteliers each month to understand the changing hotel technology and digital transformation landscape. We help hoteliers make smarter decisions about which technologies to adopt, keeping scalability and adaptability in mind. Hotel Tech Report helps hoteliers uncover the value propositions of emerging technologies and how they align with the needs of your property stakeholders and guests. About Whistle Messaging, Inc. Whistle is a hotel and guest engagement platform that is 100% cloud-based. It helps tens of thousands of hoteliers and millions of guests by streamlining communications and hotel operations. Messaging has quickly become the preferred channel of communication for customer service in hospitality and is a crucial part of travel during the pandemic.For more information, visit www.trywhistle.com.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Etihad and Sabre announce long-term partnership with key technology renewals

Sabre Corporation | September 17, 2021

Sabre Corporation, a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, announced a renewed technology agreement with Etihad. Under the new agreement, Etihad will continue leveraging a suite of Sabre's industry-leading IT solutions to aid recovery, help drive post-pandemic growth and enhance the passenger experience. "As we focus on our recovery, it is imperative that we have the right technology in place" said Frank Meyer, Chief Digital Officer, Etihad Aviation Group. "Our strong relationship with Sabre and this renewed agreement means that we can continue to optimize our day-to-day operations." Etihad and Sabre have a successful and long-standing relationship, with the carrier already having seen tangible benefits from a suite of Sabre's network planning and scheduling, pricing and revenue management and cargo technology. Under the new multi-year agreement, the following products will be among an important suite of technology for Etihad as it focuses on optimizing its operations to fuel its recovery: Fares Optimizer – Uses near real-time responses to provide dynamic price recommendations for Etihad's fares. The solution will be crucial in helping Etihad improve its revenue. Network Planning and Optimization – this industry-leading planning and scheduling suite is able to scale to the largest airlines in the world. Powering more than 60% of the world's top airlines, Sabre's Schedule Manager will continue to help Etihad build and deliver robust, accurate and operationally feasible schedules across its network. Inflight – In previous years of using Sabre's Inflight solutions, Etihad has been able to achieve significant savings, while continuing to provide a world-class and award-winning guest experience onboard "Our renewed technology agreement with Etihad is testament to the airline's confidence in Sabre to deliver the advanced solutions needed to help secure its recovery, and help it to power future growth," said Roshan Mendis, Chief Commercial Officer, Travel Solutions, Sabre. "It is essential now more than ever that airlines like Etihad employ the most advanced technology to help stimulate demand, recover lost income and position themselves for future growth." About Sabre Corporation Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveler experiences.

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